ISRO Missions and Discoveries

[pib] Vainu Bappu Observatory


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Vainu Bappu Observatory

Mains level: Not Much


The several stellar discoveries of the 40-inch telescope at the Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, Tamil Nadu, were highlighted at the celebration of its 50 years of its operation.

Vainu Bappu Observatory

  • The Vainu Bappu Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
  • It is located at Kavalur in the Javadi Hills, near Vaniyambadi in Tirupathur district in Tamil Nadu.
  • The 40-inch telescope was installed in 1972 and started producing important astronomical discoveries soon after.
  • More than a generation of astronomers were trained at this telescope as well.

Significant feats achieved by VBO

The telescope set up by Professor Vainu Bappu has played a significant role in astronomy with major discoveries like-

  1. Presence of rings around the planet Uranus,
  2. New satellite of Uranus,
  3. Presence of an atmosphere around Ganymede which is a satellite of Jupiter
  4. Discovery and study of many ‘Be stars’, Lithium depletion in giant stars, optical variability in Blazars, the dynamics of the famous supernova SN 1987A and so on.


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